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Double Agents: 6 Healthy Cooking Tools

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Pastry Cutter

It makes more than biscuits and flaky piecrusts.

Rock some guac. Homemade guacamole tends to be better because it has no additives or fillers. "Squeeze lime juice over the avocado before mashing it with the pastry cutter or it will brown quickly," Alexander says. Tailor guac to your taste by adding minced garlic, finely chopped white onion, fresh cilantro, and/or diced jalapenos.

Create DIY tomato sauce. The jarred variety can contain high-fructose corn syrup and almost triple the sodium of potato chips, says Wendy Bazilian, RD, the author of The SuperFoods Rx Diet. Just roll the cutter back and forth over peeled fresh or canned tomatoes, saute them with garlic in olive oil, and season with herbs and spices for a healthier version.

Chop nuts. With five times the chopping power of a single blade, this time-saver gets the job done quicker. Add the heart-healthy crunchies to oatmeal, yogurt, or muffins. "Or try baked pecan- or pistachio-crusted chicken," Alexander suggests. "If you soak the chicken in low-fat buttermilk overnight to tenderize it, the nuts will just stick."

Cookie Sheets

Don't pull them out only for a batch of snickerdoodles.

Whip up granola. The stuff you make at home has a leg up on the store-bought sort because "you can decrease sugar and fat while increasing fiber and flavor," Bazilian says. Mix steel-cut oats and quinoa (for extra protein), nuts, flaxseeds, maple syrup, canola oil, one beaten egg white, and vanilla in a bowl. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 300° for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes.

Bake better snacks. When you want to munch something crunchy, try oven-roasted edamame or chickpeas. Toss shelled edamame or rinsed and drained canned chickpeas in olive oil and a medley of spices: cumin, coriander, ginger, and smoked paprika. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 400° for 30 to 40 minutes, or until crunchy.

Make smoothies in seconds. Freeze bite-size pieces of peeled and pitted fruit on parchment paper–lined cookie sheets, then store in freezer bags until you're ready to toss the fruit in the blender. Craving a sweet treat? "Frozen mangoes and bananas whipped in a food processor are amazing as an ice cream substitute," Alexander says.

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Andy3723eq wrote:

Good tips. Never thought about using the waffle maker for the hash browns. Check out this cherry pizza recipe at www.traversebayfarms.com and you can crust up the recipe with the waffle maker the second day.

6/2/2014 12:05:28 PM Report Abuse
john32533 wrote:

I love the idea of cooking fish in a packet of parchment paper. I found this recipe for trout with avo sauce (http://www.fitnessfirst.com.au/learn-about-fitness/healthy-eating/trout-avocado/) and might just give this a try!

3/23/2014 11:28:31 PM Report Abuse
jsaffir1 wrote:

Such a helpful story! I read it in the beauty salon and now I want to subscribe.

12/16/2013 01:44:17 PM Report Abuse
sherrylynnemit1 wrote:

I found this article to be helpful. I would never have thought to use a waffle iron as suggested........and the remekins......great ideas. Thank you .....continue with these helpful postings...... slm

11/25/2013 03:04:09 PM Report Abuse
marcene_austin1 wrote:

I love all the possibilities!

11/25/2013 11:15:28 AM Report Abuse

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